It’s often said that sitting is the new smoking. In other words, we need to move more. Wearable technology products like fitness trackers can help increase our activity. It’s an excellent tool to track progress and keep users committed to long-term fitness goals.
I’m reviewing the Fitbit Luxe, a stylish wearable that tracks your steps, sleep, and workouts. It’s Fitbit’s attempt to merge jewelry fashion and fitness in one device. Can we truly have the best of both worlds? Let’s find out, starting with the design.
Design of the Fitbit Luxe
The main body is made from stainless steel with an adjustable silicone band and a standard metal buckle. It’s small on the wrist measuring just 1.76cm x 3.63cm x 1.01cm (WDH) and weighs only 30 grams.
It features an AMOLED touchscreen with a 124 x 206 full-colour display. The Fitbit Luxe is equipped with an accelerometer, an ambient light sensor, an optical heart rate monitor, and GPS.
There are no buttons on the Luxe and it does not feature an always-on display. Navigation is done with taps and swipes on the screen to see stats, alerts, and notifications. The battery life is 5 days on a single charge.
Setting up the Fitbit Luxe
Google acquired Fitbit in early 2021 and the Luxe is one of the newest devices released after the merger. The installation process on my Android smartphone was seamless. After downloading the Fitbit app, I tapped the icon to set up a new device. The app searches for the Luxe via Bluetooth and asks for a four-digit code shown on the display.
I gave the app permission to display phone notifications and installed the latest software version. In all, the installation was completed within 10 minutes. The next step was to wear it for a couple days to gather some all-day activity tracking.
The FitBit Luxe screen is activated by quickly turning your wrists as if you were looking at a watch. Alternatively, you can double-tap the screen to activate it. Swiping up displays the Today app. Here you’ll find the battery level, date, steps, and calories burned.
Swiping left and right displays other apps such as Notifications, Exercise, Relax, Alarms, and Timers. Double tapping on any screen will bring you back to the main screen.
Overall, it took a little time to get used to the navigation controls. Other than looking at daily stats, the majority of the navigation happens by swiping left and right. With some practice, it becomes easy and intuitive to start and stop exercises.
The Fitbit Luxe provides all-day activity tracking but users can also use it for specific fitness tracking.
By default, it comes with six workout-tracking shortcuts preinstalled: walk, run, bike, swim, workout, and treadmill. In the app, users can also select weights, interval workout, elliptical, hike, golf, stairclimber, tennis, spinning, yoga, and Bootcamp.
Sadly, there is no jump rope fitness tracking. I learned to jump rope the past year and I’m looking for a fitness tracker to measure jump rope workouts. There was a generic workout option so I used that during my daily jump rope sessions.
The all-day activity tracking with the Fitbit Luxe extends through the night with Sleep Tracking. The Luxe tracks various stages of sleep (i.e. light, deep, and REM), time to bed, and wake-up time.
It estimates sleep stages using a combination of movements and heart-rate patterns. The Luxe tracks heart rate variability as users transition between the different sleep stages. This data is used to provide an overall Sleep Score which gives users a quick snapshot of their sleep quality.
Active Zone Minutes
While you can look at the metrics from the Luxe display, I prefer the Fitbit app. It provides a wealth of tracking data and a daily Active Zone Minutes score.
Active Zone minutes track your activity time. It’s a single score that allows you to compare your activity day-to-day and weekly. Your target heart score for activity is personalized using your fitness level and age.
The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate activity a week or 75 minutes of vigorous activity. Therefore, you earn 2 Active Zone Minutes for 1 minute of vigorous activity.
Active Zone Minutes is a single score metric that can be used to compare day-to-day activity levels. It’s also a fantastic method to compare the Active Zone Minutes between different workouts at the same duration (i.e. running, biking, and elliptical).
Using the Fitbit Luxe
I always forget to start and stop workouts on fitness trackers. Thankfully, the Luxe uses Fitbit’s SmartTrack feature to automatically recognize and record workouts. These include walking, running, cycling, etc.
The first day I wore it, I went for a big run but I forgot to start the run workout. SmartTrack accurately detected the run and provided me with valuable data including heart rate zones, activity zone minutes, and calories burned. SmartTrack also showed me the impact of the workout on my daily steps, total calories burned, and active zone minutes for the entire day.
With SmartTrack, workouts like walks and runs will automatically be tracked without much interaction with the Luxe. These are the types of features I’ve been looking for in an activity tracker. The less I have to interact with it, the better. I just want that data to sync to my phone so I can look at it while I have my morning coffee.
I had some issues collecting sleep data. For some reason, my heart rate was not being tracked at night. It worked fine during the day so I’m not sure why it didn’t track my heart rate at night.
Still, I was provided with a wealth of sleep data including the number of times I was awake and/or restless. I found the bedtime and wake-up time to be accurate as well.
We move a lot less than past generations. The knowledge-based jobs of today are usually behind a computer. Therefore, it’s important to make time for daily activity and to pursue long-term fitness goals to live a healthy, active lifestyle. Fitness trackers like the Fitbit Luxe provide a wealth of health data to track progress and ensure you’re getting enough sleep for recovery. It basically gamifies health metrics and motivates us to beat previous scores in the Fitbit app.
The Luxe by Fitbit is a great choice for people looking for a stylish wearable that doesn’t take too much real estate on the wrist and offers good battery life. If you want to get active and need a fitness tracker to keep you motivated, the Fitbit Luxe will not disappoint.